Guest Post – P.J. MacLayne – Stumbling My Way into a Book

Stumbling My Way into a Book

            by P.J. MacLayne

I admit it. I never intended to write a book featuring shapeshifters. That concept has been overworked and overdone, right?

I’ve written poetry since high school, and some of it is pretty good. Then one year I decided to try to write a book for National Novel Writing Month. Fifty thousand words in one month while working a full time job sounded like a challenge, and the poetry wasn’t flowing any more.

The book ended at about 49,000 words. I didn’t “win.” But it was a complete book. I rewrote it, changed it up, played with it for months afterword. It’s better, and I still love the characters, but I doubt I’ll ever publish it.

I wrote another book. And another. I was addicted. They were filled with action and more than a touch of romance. Those books might see the light of day in the future, but not yet.

Then I had a crazy dream. A dream about a girl being chased and changing into a wolf. I have crazy dreams like that. I once dreamt I was a detective on a cruise ship, trying to find a missing child, and ended up chasing the bad guys through a village in Italy.

I’ve never been to Italy.

But my dream about the woman-wolf wouldn’t go away. She even told me her name. Dot. Funny name for a heroine. Usually Dot is somebody’s sidekick.

Not my Dot. She wouldn’t leave me alone, so I started writing her story. As I wrote, she told me more about herself. The more she told me, the more I liked her. When I got done with the first draft of her book, I set it aside and moved on to another project.

After a couple of months, I went back and read the book again. I still liked it. Sure, there was editing to be done, and pieces that weren’t right needing fixed, but I could handle it. Dot really wanted me to share her story with the world.

Here’s a piece of Dot’s story, Wolves’ Pawn. She was on her first date in years with Gavin Fairwood, the son of a pack leader, when they were accosted by men whose mission was to capture Dot. This scene happens after she and Gavin have handily dispatched the attackers.

wolves_v7 (1)She stepped away as the trooper snapped cuffs on her attacker’s wrists. Sirens wailed outside, and other troopers streamed into the building.  One trooper pulled her aside to question her, and she lost track of Gavin in the confusion. She watched as her attackers were hustled out of the building, but the sense of panic building inside of her did not end. Her instincts screamed “RUN!” but she was stuck here without her motorcycle and having no real idea of where to run to. She always made plans for escape, but in the space of two days she had been lulled into an artificial sense of safety and regretted it.

The bar was clearing out, and she slipped outside behind some other patrons. Shadows moved among the cars in the dimly lit parking lot and she recognized them as being created by wolves—so much for finding an unlocked car with the keys left inside. If she worked her way unseen into the nearby woods, she could shift and have a chance of getting away. She edged towards the end of the building, careful of where she placed her bare feet. Once she shifted, she could move faster.

“Don’t go.” The deep voice rumbled from behind her stopping her as she started to move. His approach had been silent. She twirled around, trembling.

“What, are you reading my mind now?”

“No, your body language.” Gavin took a step closer and she took two steps away.

“I can’t do this.” She turned to face the hoped-for safety of the woods.

“Do what?” She felt his warm breath on the back of her neck, but he didn’t touch her.

“Every time I think I find a shelter, they take it away from me.” Tears hovered close to the surface, but she fought them back. No one was allowed to see her cry. “You told me I was safe here, and see what happened? I figured out a long time ago that they want me alive so they won’t hurt me, not bad anyway, but they could have killed you. I can’t do this anymore.”

He twisted her around and pulled her into his chest. “I’m not going to let you leave. I just found you, and I can’t let you go. Promise you’ll stay and we’ll beat them together.”

“I can’t promise you anything.” She tried to pull herself free, but he didn’t let go of her.

“One week. Promise me one week to figure something out. You can promise me a week.”

It had been a long time since anyone had done so much for her without expecting anything in return. She owed him. At least, that’s what she told herself. “One week. I will give you one week.” With his big arms wrapped around her, and his lips suddenly pressed to hers, she wanted to give him more.

Currently, Wolves’ Pawn is available only on Amazon as an ebook. A paperback version will be available in the future. Here’s the link.

pkmaclayneP.J. MacLayne is a computer geek by day and a writer at night. She grew among the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and uses them as a setting for much of her work. She currently makes her home in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.


She can be found on Facebook at

And on Twitter @pjmaclayne


3 responses to “Guest Post – P.J. MacLayne – Stumbling My Way into a Book”

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